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I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

Filtering by Tag: serum

Morgue Drawer March 2019

Not sure why I thought it had been longer than three months since my last MD, but it seems I’m right on track for my quarterly posting. Yay, me!

For anyone new here, this is basically the post where I talk about my garbage. I’ve used up these products, so I can give you a good idea on their performance, and if I enjoyed them. Hope it’s educational! (Also pretty sure most, if not all, of these products are Cruelty Free!)

DEBRIS

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Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde Shampoo: Technically, I haven’t used this up completely. I emptied this bigger bottle into a travel sized one. It’s a purple shampoo, and was great when I stopped coloring my hair and went with my natural salt and pepper. It made my greys look a little lavender, and not so brassy. I highly recommend it for that. And now that my hair is red and purple, I won’t mind using this when I travel.

Hask Chia Seed Dry Shampoo: I enjoy the Hask brand dry shampoos a lot. This was one that didn’t look powdery, or like I dumped a kilo of cocaine on my head. But it wasn’t that great as a dry shampoo. Did work really well to add texture so it was easier to style my hair or get it to stay in place.

Babyganics Baby Wipes: I get these at my local grocery store (Value Center). But you can get them at Target, Kroger, Amazon, Walmart, etc. I love them for cleaning off swatches, or just cleaning off eye shadow fall out on my cheeks. The cloths themselves are soft but, as with any wipe, the liquid burns a little bit. But I don’t mind using them for clean up.

Tom’s of Main Maximum Sensitive Toothpaste: I’ve been using this for years. It’s the only toothpaste that works really well for me. AND I don’t get the mouth-peeling issue like I do with every other brand. Apparently, it’s a thing that a small percentage of the population experiences with sensitive toothpaste. It’s weird and kinda gross, but at least it doesn’t hurt.

LIKE BUTTAH

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Soap & Glory Righteous Body Butter: I love S&G body butters, but the scent on this one is a little heavy. Kind of like Lilies of the Valley, but on crack. I’d love to get the Sugar Crush scent again, but I don’t think they make it anymore. The link will take you to Ulta where you can look at all the other scents available. If you want something that will stay on your skin and keep you moist (uh….) you need to get a S&G body butter.

Nature’s Truth Sweet Almond Oil: I got this at Meijers (but you can get it at a lot of places) to mix with some essential and/or perfume oils the hubby got me. My feet, and toe nails particularly, love this stuff. The rest of my body ain’t complaining, either.

MY SKIN WOULD MAKE A GREAT LAMPSHADE

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Mario Badescu Facial Spray (Rose and Lavender): I’ve been using the rose spray for years, but once I realized it contained some artificial stuff, I’m now trying something else. But it is nice, and the lavender one was also a nice spray to use before bed. Not too strongly scented, so if you’re sensitive to lavender, this might be okay for you.

The Ordinary Buffet Serum: Also used this for years, but after a while, it doesn’t seem to do much for me any more. But if you’re looking for some new skin care, that doesn’t cost the same as a car payment, you should check out The Ordinary.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Serum: With winter, I wanted to add a little more moisture into my skin. I’m not dry dry, but I’m not as oily as I used to be. This didn’t really do much, though.

Botanics Nourishing Facial Oil: Nice smelling oil, but it broke me out. So I ended up using it on my neck and chest (or decolletage for you fancy-ass folks) and it was wonderful.

Formula 10.0.6 Picture Perfect Day Moisturizer: I’m still digging this stuff. Nice moisturizer that takes a few minutes to sink in, but it’s worth the wait. That little bit of SPF is nice, too.

That’s it for now! See you again in a few months with more garbage.

Morgue Drawer June 2018

Here we are again, folks. As the temperatures remain in the nineties, it feels safer to me to stay inside and write up a few blog posts/reviews. So let's start with my trash, eh?

 

AND SO....I DIE...

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These make me sad. There's still product in each container but either the formulas have changed, they smell off, or they tingle against my lips and they're not supposed to do that. So I need to trash them.

Medusa's Makeup Lip Paint Remover: This stuff works great on MM's lip paints but after a while, the smell got horrible and the cap is all sticky and crusty with dried oil. It's basically almond oil, grapeseed oil, and fragrance so I imagine just almond oil will work fine. But they're having a sale right now and it's half off! I might keep the bottle and reuse it for something else. (CF)

Elf Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Nude Pink: I love this color and the formula. It started out smelling like mint but now it smells like menthol so into the garbage it goes. Would totally buy again, though, if they still had this shade. Which they don't. (CF)

Colourpop Lippies: These are probably the oldest CP lippies I own so it makes sense that they smell funny now, or the formulas have changed and actually burn when I put them on. As I have a ton of other lipsticks and glosses, I don't NEED to repurchase. Doesn't mean I won't, though...(L to R) Ultra Glossy Lip in Tight Fit; Ultra Satin in So Wavy, Lost, Petit Four, and Marshmallow (Tight Fit, Lost, and Marshmallow are still available on the CP site). 

 

SCRUB-A-DUB AND SMELL GOOD

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Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Conditioner: I've been enjoying a lot of Paul Mitchell products lately and the hubby loves this conditioner (and matching shampoo), too! It works pretty well to keep hair clean and moisturized, which is good for me since I bleach my hair now. I ended up buying the bigger size so hubs and I can share. (CF)

Phyto Color Enhancing Hair Mask: I got this sample with an Ulta order, I think. Though it worked really well (at least at moisturizing), it's not a Cruelty Free brand so I won't be purchasing it in the future. It's also $59 for 6 ounces. Uh...no. (NCF)

Purlisse Coconut Oil and Coffee Sugar Scrub: This was a decent scrub, smelled great, but I only got one use out of this sample size. You need to use a lot to cover the whole body (I did, anyway, and I'm not very big). (CF/Vegan)

Mitchum Stick Deodorant: This worked okay. I like the clear gel formula much better. Pretty sure any deodorant that isn't one of the 'natural' brands, isn't cruelty free. (NCF)

Nature's Truth Sweet Almond Oil: I like to use this on my feet and toenails after I shower. It's a nice, light oil, that absorbs quickly into the skin. Good for all over the body, actually. Almond oil is used as a base for other moisturizers because it has no scent. Will buy again (it's not all gone but I poured the remainder into an empty pump bottle for easier dispersement). (CF - ?)

Purple Cat Apothecary Body Butters: Two more from the 5-pack sample set I ordered. The Lemon Chiffon was divine! Lemon and butter cake. The Frostbloom was okay. Kinda floral, kinda minty...hard to pin down. This formula was much thicker and drier than the Lemon one but both worked very well, especially over the almond oil I talked about above. (CF) NOTE: This was originally an Etsy store with art and body products. Apparently, Etsy is making is difficult and more expensive for people to use it as a store front so this woman only has an on-line art store at a separate website. Dammit.

 

SQUEAKY CLEAN

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TN Dickinson's Witch hazel: I like to use this after I do a mud mask. It's great for cleaning off any excess or left behind product without drying out my skin. I know a lot of people hate the smell of witch hazel but it doesn't bother me at all. Very gentle and could be used every day. I think I got mine at the grocery store but it's sold everyone it seems. (CF/Vegan)

Everyone Lavender and Coconut Hand Soap: We've tried a few scents from this brand and I really have enjoyed them all. This and the Lemon/Mandarin one have been been my favorites. Great for the kitchen! (CF)

BBW Good Vibes Only foaming hand soap: I bought this scent to get a deal at Bath and Body Works so I wasn't expecting it to be great but I love it. Even the hubby, who's not one for a lot of scented cleansers, really liked it. But...because it's BBW, and they sell to China, I really have only been keeping my purchases to candles (I love their candles and haven't found anything else to replace them yet). (NCF)

 

 

CHOMPERS AND THE LIKE

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ACT Restoring Mouthwash: I used this stuff every day with Invisalign and now it's just a habit I can't quit. Which is good! My teeth need a lot of help so this fluoride rinse is perfect. Doesn't burn like a mo-fo, either. (NCF)

Tom's of Maine Maximum Strength Sensitive toothpaste: Love this stuff. Will keep buying. (CF)

Simply Creative Living Honey Cherry Almond lip balm: I believe I talked about another lip balm from this company. I got it at my city's Farmer's Market or the 4th of July fair. Can't remember. This was just okay. Probably won't repurchase. (CF)

 

ALL ABOUT THAT FACE

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NO:HJ Sheet Mask: Got this from my monthly subscription, Facestory. It was really nice and it had all these gold colored flowers all over it. I felt so fancy! It's a Korean brand so the cruelty free status is hard to know/confirm.

The Ordinary Buffet serum: I've raved about this product before here but lately, this stuff hasn't been working all that well. It's actually been breaking me out. I know skin can acclimate to a product, making it less effective, even develop reactions to some. Seems that's what's happened here. So while my backup bottles sit unused, I'm trying something else. I'll let you know how it goes. (CF)

Ole Henrickson Banana Bright Eye Cream: Got this in one of my last Ipsy bags, I think. The cream is yellow but not sure it's brightening. It's thick but doesn't absorb that well. In fact, it didn't really do shit. (CF)

SkinRX Labs MadeCera Cream: Another sample product but can't remember where I go it. I really enjoyed it, though. Felt great on the skin and did a good job of moisturizing. Again, SkinRX is Korean so can't confirm or deny cruelty free status.

Formula 10.0.6 Day/Night Cream: I've been using the day and night creams for a while. Still loving them. (CF)

 

ALL SORTS OF STUFF

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The Ordinary Fluid Primer (forgot to put this with the makeup): This stuff is pure shit. When I bought it, the bottle was barely half full (but it wasn't wet or sticky so nothing leaked - it just wasn't filled). Can't get it out of the bottle THROUGH the dropper so I'd just wipe off enough OFF the dropper to put on my face. And then I felt like a total grease ball. I can't even use it up because it feels so gross and my skin hates it. (CF)

Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil: I really like cleansing oils so I thought I'd give BB's version a shot. It's...okay. Smells a little weird and doesn't do a great job but it's fine. I actually didn't finish this yet but I put the remaining product in a travel bottle. (CF)

Nip + Fab Glycolic Cleansing Pads: I got a sample pack of these years ago when I was still getting the Walmart box. And I really liked them so I got this full size at the drug store. Turned out they didn't really do that much for my skin. But I like the travel friendly pre-soaked pads (as opposed to a bottle) even though these felt kind of dry. Maybe that's why they didn't seem to do much. I'd be willing to try them again, though, in case I got a bad batch. (CF)

Manyo Factory Herb Green Cleansing Oil: I'm pretty sure this sample was what started my love of cleansing oils. This stuff was great. Smelled good and did a great job of removing makeup, especially after the heavy stuff I use for convention appearances! It's another Korean brand so I don't know if they're cruelty free.

First Aid Beauty Hydrating Serum (not sure why I didn't put this with the previous stuff): I've used a couple products from this brand before and while I did like them, I don't feel the brand is so superb to be worth the higher price tag. I did really enjoy this, though. (CF)

Ipsy May 2018 (FINAL REVIEW)

All righty folks. This will be my last review for Ipsy. It's been a (mostly) fun run. I've been subscribed for about 4 years but it's time to move on. Getting a lot of the same products and colors that do nothing for me and the value seems to be decreasing, in general. I'm also finding more non-cruelty free brands (or at least unknown) so buh-bye, Ipsy. 

But if you don't know what this is, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 you get sample (sometimes full) sized makeup, skin care, and hair care products, as well as a reusable makeup bag. Check them out here: IPSY

(I paid for this service with my own money and all opinions are and have been my honest ones)

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I think the theme is about travel or whatever. The theme each month is completely irrelevant and that little card just spews generic positive platitudes and other bullshit. No product information or pricing EVER comes with this bag. Maybe someday that will change but I won't be around to find out. Oh well. The bag is kind of cute but I don't think I'll be keeping it. Let's get to the products.

Trestique Mini Matte Blur Stick: This product does actually mattify my skin but it does NOT minimize pores. Not by a long shot. While I like the portability of a primer/blur product in stick format, this feels very slick and almost greasy on my skin. Which is weird. But the little nub wore down a lot after one use so I can't imagine I'll have it for very long. Can't find any info on the weight of the full size product ($28 but comes with blotting paper) so don't know how much this 1.1g sample is worth. Also it's on the "Pending" list for Cruelty Free status at Logical Harmony so I'll probably just avoid this brand until I see differently.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum: I've had good luck with FAB in the past so I'm excited to try this. My skin loves gel formula anything and since my Ordinary "Buffet" serum has not been working well (so I stopped using it a couple weeks ago), I need to get this in my rotation. I though it was a moisturizer so I haven't used it yet. But now that I'm digging into the details, I see it's a serum and will start incorporating it into my skin care routine tonight! It is a pricier brand but from what I've tried, it seems worth it. Full size is $36 so this .25 ounce sample is worth $9. (CF plus has some vegan options)

PureHeals Centella Green Tea Mask: Got two sample pods of this mask to try. I did like it. Didn't burn or do weird stuff to my skin. Felt nice going on. I probably used more than necessary because these pods don't reseal and I didn't have anything to put it in to keep it from drying out. *shrug* My skin felt good afterwards, too. Full size goes for $27 so I think each pod is worth about $2. Can't find info on CF status but it is a Korean brand so it's a toss up.

SLMissGlam Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge: Oy, that name. It's a piece of foam, people. Calm down. Got a brush from this company before, I believe, and yep, it's the website that looks like a unicorn puked cotton candy all over it. The sponge is fine. Doesn't get super squishy or much bigger after wetting it but it workswell. This is full size and costs $17.50. (CF)

Ven Effect Micro Exfoliant: I got something from this brand two months ago and I liked it. But these kind of exfoliants usually fuck my shit up. It's a super fine grain, almost like baking soda, but through user error, I go too ham with it and shred my skin. I'll probably still give it a shot but I'm not expecting much. Full size is $60 so this sample is $6 (CF - ?).

I think I'm going to value the mini blur stick at $1.50 (cut full price in half then take 10% of that and round up a titch). So this bag is worth approximately $38. That's decent. 

Thanks for the memories, Ipsy. I hope you can improve for future subscribers and good luck!

Ipsy December 2017 Review

The end of 2017 is upon us. And so is my last Ipsy review for the year. For those who don't know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10 you receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized makeup, skin, and hair care products. Check it out here: IPSY

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

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I guess the theme this month is Snow Globe, whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean. Who cares anyway? The bag, though, is awesome. It looks like some kind of fancy clutch you'd take to a party or something. So yeah, that's a keeper. Let's see what's inside this month!

The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream: Doesn't sound to great, does it? Who wants their creams watery? But, according to the on-line description, this is supposed to be a great gel based moisturizing cream with 63% fermented green tea extract (instead of water). I do like the gel based ones. They're kiind of cool. Haven't tried this and I probably won't because Tony Moly is not cruelty free. Full size is $25 so this sample should run around $4. (NCF)

Nip + Fab Dragon's Blood Fix Pumping Serum: I love the glycolic cleansing pads from N+F so when I got this in my bag, I was pumped! No pun intended. Haven't opened it yet because I've still got half a bottle of The Ordinary buffet serum to use up. Full size is $20 so this sample is worth about $8. (CF)

Luxie Beauty Precision Shader Onyx Brush 239: I'm never mad at brushes, y'all. This is a nice compact shader with a slight taper to it. It really can put shadow RIGHT in the crease. It's not as good at blending that color out if you got too precise and heavy with a shadow so keep that in mind. This is full size and is valued at $14. The link is to their Rose Gold style - the black handle might be an Ipsy exclusive. Not sure. (CF)

Pixi by Petra Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Orchid Ornament: I've never tried Pixi shadows before. I've heard mixed reviews so I've never wanted to spend the money on them. They're not high end pricing but they're not drug store either. These are two very soft and beautiful shades. They actually seem different in the pan compared to on the skin. I can't quite put my finger on it! You can see in the swatches that these shades can be built up but for my eye look, I just powdered my eyelid and swept a little of each color on (the gold on the lid and the dark rosy brown in the crease). These particular shades aren't available on the Pixi website (again, might be exclusive to Ipsy) and the mesmerizing minerals only come in 6-pan palettes. But they all look really pretty! Full size is $12 so this little duo is probably around $3. (CF)

NYX Faux Blacks Eyeliner in Obsidian: I actually own two other colors in this line. They're not great (one is Oxblood, the other is Olive but I kept the red one because I have no other color like it) so I was a little bummed about getting this. AT FIRST. Boy was I wrong about Obsidian. First, you'd think the name would indicate it's black but it's actually a dark, dark blue. Second, I've never encountered an eyeliner that stayed on my tight line and waterline as long as this one. MAYBE the Urban Decay 24/7 came close. So holy fuck me I love this pencil. It goes on super creamy so it wears down very fast. But I can live with that! This is full size and goes for $8. (CF)

Total bag value is around $37. Not too bad considering only one of the items isn't cruelty free and I'm stoked for everything else, including the bag. Nice little holiday wrap up (heh, see what I did there?) for 2017. Hope you all have a wonderful, safe, and happy holiday! See you in 2018.